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‘Volunteer experiences provide the insights and satisfaction for my work’

My name is Hina Yousafzai and I am from Mardan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. I am currently working as a United Nations Volunteer supporting the FATA (Federally Administered Tribal Areas) Recovery Project by UNDP in the capacity of Reporting & Monitoring Associate based in Peshawar.

Since early childhood, my life has been driven by two factors: my love for knowledge instilled in me by my parents, & by my efforts at being understood and appreciated. As a girl, growing in a highly patriarchal and conservative society, I had to make my way up through sheer devotion to knowledge. My real challenge presented itself when my motivation towards change led me into the developmental sector where I am currently rendering my services and contributing to volunteerism. The project I am working with, is supporting the FATA Secretariat in the implementation of the FATA Sustainable Return and Rehabilitation Strategy which seeks to address the most immediate rehabilitation and recovery needs in FATA in order to facilitate sustainable returns of more than 300,000 TDP families (including over 100,000 families from North Waziristan).

I hail from a region which is at the heart of the current strife. After closely working with the various conflict groups, I have reached the conclusion that social development at the lower level is the only viable solution towards deradicalization and by having the sense of responsibility, one can contribute towards developmental activities through volunteer efforts.

As traditionally, the lives of women in KPK (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa) and FATA are circumscribed by traditions, which enforce seclusion and submission to men, the women are still constrained because of the prevailing patriarchal culture and norms. With my role, I believe I am in a good position, as a woman to give a helping hand to my project by performing my duties in reaching out and providing assistance to the vulnerable TDPs families (especially women) in FATA. I have been collecting the stories of the TDPs and helping in monitoring and reporting the on-ground progress while identifying the issues faced by the vulnerable communities so, that they can be assisted.

I have been successful enough to achieve this goal as the project during its implementation continue to assist thousands of TDPs and their families through its various project outputs by community engagement, providing vocational trainings, rebuilding community physical infrastructure and providing livelihood opportunities, specially to women to ensure a swift return to normal life.

The United Nation Volunteer Programme motivated and gave me useful insight for my work. All of these are, in my understanding, essential for continued personal development, and capacity building, that would surely improve my delivery at the service that I am currently rendering. I strongly believe everybody can contribute to the social development by volunteer efforts if they really want to bring a positive change into the society because there is a very human aspect to the conflict we are faced with unless, this human aspect is being properly understood and appreciated.

Community focused radio
UNV Pakistan, UN Women and UNESCO organized a provincial dialogue in Quetta, Baluchistan highlighting the role of radio for promoting gender equality and volunteerism in marginalized communities. This dialogue was organized through internal consultations amongst aforementioned three sister UN Agencies and the department of Information, Government of Baluchistan and Pakistan Broadcasting Corporation.

Minister for Information, Government of Baluchistan, Mr. Sardar Raza Muhammad Barech graced the event as the chief guest. Among others, Mr. Abdullah Jan, Secretary of Information Department, Government of Baluchistan, Mr. Zahoor Ahmed Bazaia, Director General, Quality Assurance , Higher Education, Mr. Kamran, Director General Public Relations , Mrs. Yasmin Lehri, Member Provincial Assembly of Baluchistan were attended the dialogue.

The dialogue was also attended by other government officials, representatives from NGOs/CSOs, civil society, VIOs, youth groups, media, UN band other key stakeholders. The event stressed over the importance of radio in improving livelihoods especially in Baluchistan where information is not adequately accessible. The UNV Programme Officer of Pakistan focused on UNV comparative advantages to bring about transformational change through volunteerism as inspiration in action. He also focused the role on community radio on social inclusion, and civic participation and gender equity.

The government officials including the Minister assured to provide full support towards this community focused radio initiative in Baluchistan.
International IVD Day 2014

UNV Field Unit Pakistan chalks out several programs to celebrate International Volunteer 2014. The slogan for this year is ‘’People’s participation’’. UNV Field Unit Pakistan invites all of you taking part with in this celebration for widening volunteerism in Pakistan.

New UNV Programme Officer joins UNV Field Unit Pakistan

It is our pleasure that UNV Field Unit Pakistan receives new UNV Programme Officer Mr. Md. Aktar Uddin. Mr. Aktar possesses long hands-on experience in development field including volunteering management. The below states his self-introduction along with a brief profile:

I am Md. Aktar Uddin, hailed from Bangladesh. It is my privilege to get introduced myself as Programme Officer for UN Volunteers Pakistan. It is enormous pleasure being a member of a dedicated and great team of UN Volunteers.

I obtained Masters and Bachelor degree in Mass Communication & Journalism from University of Dhaka and another Masters in Public Health (major on health education). I also hold advanced certified courses on research methodology from Karolinska Institutet, Sweden.

Prior to joining in Pakistan as PO, I served as Advocacy Officer for UNV Support Unit, United Nations Mission in Liberia. I worked with UNDP Bangladesh (2008 to 2013) for two different projects i.e. Poverty Reduction Strategy (PRS)-Millennium Development Goals (MDG) and Strengthening Local Justice System. I also worked with World Health Organization (Bangladesh), Management Sciences for Health, Action on Disability and Development International. I also worked with some national NGOs and media. 

I find volunteerism as a great strength and pathway to foster advancing human life securing peace and development. It also gives much mental peace and satisfaction towards accomplishing meaningful endeavors. As UNV programme is getting a strategic momentum through following its Global Strategic Framework, trust I can add value transferring my hands-on experiences and expertise in the areas of programming, advocacy, lobbying, partnership, volunteer management, project management, strategic communication and create a creditable synergy amongst UN agencies, government and other potential partners. In Pakistan, I can foresee immense potentials going after the endeavors for establishing a stable niche for UNV programme though there looms intricate challenges as well.

In this journey to contribute establishing peace and furthering development process in Pakistan from UNV efforts, I cordially seek all of yours’ continuous kind cooperation.
Preventing gender-based violence by working with boys and men

Preventing gender-based violence by working with boys and men ,UN volunteer Rizwan Latif works as Outreach and Capacity Development Officer at ROZAN, an Islamabad based NGO groups, Pakistan Preventing gender-based violence by working with boys and men by Rizwan Latif UN volunteer Rizwan Latif (standing) works as Outreach & Capacity Development Officer at ROZAN, an Islamabad ... (more)

The long road to Skardu - reflections of an online-turned-on-site volunteer

"Overall, my visit to Baltistan was incredible. The students and citizens of this region are full of hope for their futures, but are in need of technical support and resources to help them achieve this vision of excellence," explains Kate Anderson Simons, who has been supporting GRACE Association Pakistan as an online volunteer since 2007.

An education consultant focusing on children affected by poverty, armed conflict, and lack of educational opportunities, she hopes that "through continued collaboration, the GRACE staff, partners, and volunteers can make this vision a reality." (more)

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